The duty to ensure people’s rights to consent, privacy, security and ownership around the information processes of collection, analysis, storage, presentation and reuse of data, while respecting the values of transparency and openness. (Responsible Data Forum, working definition, September 2014)
A slightly different definition(as outlined in work by Sonjara/mSTAR for USAID) considers responsible data as a balance between 1) responsible data use(e.g., being sure that development organizations actually use the data we collect/that have been collected and shared by others); 2) transparency and accountability(to those we collect data from, to those who fund data collection/use, to the public); and 3) data privacy and security when we are stewarding or using data we have collected.
The Responsible Data Forum and mailing list
The Responsible Data Forum is a collaborative effort to develop useful tools and strategies for dealing with the ethical, security and privacy challenges facing data-driven advocacy. It is a collaboration between Amnesty International, Aspiration, The Engine Room, Greenhost, HURIDOCS, Leiden University’s Peace Informatics Lab, Open Knowledge and Ushahidi.
How to Balance the Tension Between Open Data and Privacy and Security(2016) blogpost by Siobhan Green and Linda Raftree
Major opportunities for open, interoperable and shared data in international development include improved data for monitoring and evaluation and performance management; improved subnational data; creation of data“assets” by different audiences; re-use and validation of data. However, most of the pros are also cons, and vice versa. For example, open data can improve accountability but it can also increase liability. Tracking personally identifiable information can mean improved transparency but also greater vulnerability. This post provides a summary of a Technology Salon round table discussion.
Ethical considerations when using geospatial technologies for evidence generation(2018)
Geospatial technologies have transformed the way we visualize and understand social phenomena and physical environments. There are significant advantages in using these technologies and data however, their use also presents ethical dilemmas such as privacy and security concerns as well as the potential for stigma and discrimination resulting from being associated with particular locations. Therefore, the use of geospatial technologies and resulting data needs to be critically assessed through an ethical lens prior to implementation of programmes, analyses or partnerships. This paper examines the benefits, risks and ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation using geospatial technologies. It is supplemented by a checklist that may be used as a practical tool to support reflection on the ethical use of geospatial technologies.
Mapping and Comparing Responsible Data Approaches(2016)
The need for a responsible data governance approach has now been recognized by a wide variety of organizations, both within and outside the humanitarian space. The goal of this paper is to examine some of these existing approaches and, based on a comparative analysis, to identify best practices and innovative approaches to governing data in humanitarian contexts. To that end, Leiden University’s Centre for Innovation and the Governance Laboratory at New York University(The GovLab) have together undertaken a mapping exercise of 17 existing responsible data approaches. Taken together, these can serve as a toolkit for any organizations—particularly those operating in the humanitarian space—seeking to use data more responsibly and effectively.